Jen from J Lauren Events put together this great post about planning a barn wedding. If  you’re having your big day in the country, or just want some rustic appeal – you’re gonna love this post!

Whether you are going all out rustic or country glamour, a barn or barn-like location can set a mood like no other type of venue. Barns are like you favorite pair jeans, you can dress them up or dress them down. These awesome venues say “Relax, let’s have some fun.” However, the fun can be dependent on creating a comfortable environment for your guests. Here are some tips to help you navigate the difficult waters of rustic wedding venues.

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Get a Lay of the Land

Do a site walk through with your wedding planner before booking any other vendors. You want to discuss the property layout and locations for the major areas such as ceremony, reception, parking, staging for rentals and catering set up. Note the locations of water and electrical access, if any.  What type of indoor and outdoor lighting is available? Heating and cooling?

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Line Up Your Rentals

While not the most glamourous part of planning, you need to line up rentals for the major items. Bathrooms, yes bathrooms, generators, tents, tables, chairs, lighting and heaters or fans depending on the anticipated weather.

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Light Up the Night

First let’s address the indoors. For rustic events– use clusters of lanterns to provide light in dark corners.  For a shabby chic look– mix candles with chandeliers hanging from the rafters. Amber uplighting will give the whole room a warm glow and highlight the texture in wooden plank walls.

To avoid any twisted ankles you will need to add lights to outside walkways for after sundown. Use luminaries or candles in large mason jars for stylish look. Consider adding battery power LED lights to signs.

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A Girl’s Gotta Eat

Barns combine both indoor and outdoor elements, and this should be reflected in the menu you choose. Don’t be afraid to get creative. I like to see a mix of smoky flavors combined with refreshing local farm fresh vegetables.

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Show Some Personality

Now it is time to get creative with your décor and personalize your wedding. I like to collect a lot of pictures, either on Pinterest or the old fashion way – magazines, and then play the “which of these things don’t belong” game.  Narrow down your vision and then add your own unique spin. For barn weddings I love to start with the table linens, which are a great way to bring color, texture or pattern – then add your tableware.  You can go simple or spice it up with mason jar glasses or rattan chargers.  Next, add flowers to for visual interest. Bringing in vintage farmhouse furniture and accessories are a great way to add  appeal to the bar, escort card area and cake table.

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